Brussels Daily
13 Feb 2015


Brussels Daily

18 further Rural Development Programmes get green light

The European Commission has today approved a further 18 Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) aimed at improving the competitiveness of the EU farming sector, caring for the countryside and climate, and strengthening the economic and social fabric of rural communities in the period until 2020. Taken together, the RDPs for Belgium (Flanders), Estonia, Finland (Åland), France (National Rural Network Programme, Mayotte), Germany (Bavaria, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Nordrhein-Westfalen), Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal (Azores, Madeira), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (National Framework) and United Kingdom (England) offer funding worth 14,3 billion EUR from the EU budget, which will be co-financed by further public funding at national/regional level and/or private funds. Welcoming today’s decisions, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “Boosting the knowledge base of our farm sector is an important aspect of the RDPs. I am pleased to confirm that the 18 programmes adopted today will, together, provide more than one million places on training courses.”  Read the  press release and all country factsheets.


Cohesion Policy: Commission commits more than 66 billion euro to promote economic development across Europe

The European Commission has adopted today 40 new programmes under the European Cohesion Policy to support economic development and social cohesion across the European Union. An additional 10 programmes will be adopted before the end of this month. Together, these 50 programmes will be worth more than 66 billion euro. With these decisions, 266 Cohesion Policy programmes, worth more than 256 billion euro, have now been approved for the 2014-2020 budgetary period. These programmes are vital, performance-guided investments that have an important impact on people’s everyday life. They help boost economic competitiveness, enhance research and innovation, promote entrepreneurship, tackle unemployment, fight social exclusion and support the shift towards a low-carbon economy in Europe. The Commission will adopt the remaining programmes as soon as possible. With a budget of 351,8 billion euro for a total of 387 programmes for the period 2014-2020, the European Structural Funds are the EU’s main investment policy. A full press release is available here.


EU Council backs European Commission proposal to fight against the manipulation of financial benchmarks

The EU has today taken a further step towards restoring public trust in financial benchmarks in the wake of recent scandals over the manipulation of the LIBOR (London interbank offered rate) and EURIBOR (Euro Interbank Offered Rate) benchmarks. In a move welcomed by the European Commission, the Council has given its backing to new proposed rules to enhance the robustness and reliability of benchmarks, which are used in financial instruments (e.g. bonds, shares, futures or swaps) and financial contracts (e.g. mortgages or consumer contracts) in the EU. “Manipulating benchmarks amounts to stealing from investors and consumers and undermines confidence in markets. I welcome the backing given by the Council today. The proposed regulation will ensure that we have benchmarks that are robust, reliable and representative,” said Jonathan Hill, Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. A full press release is available here.


Eurostat: Flash estimate for the fourth quarter of 2014; GDP up by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU28

Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.3% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.4% in the EU28 during the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the third quarter of 2014, GDP grew by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU28. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28 in the fourth quarter of 2014, after +0.8% and +1.3% respectively in the previous quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2014, GDP in the United States increased by 0.7% compared with the previous quarter (after +1.2% in the third quarter of 2014). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP grew by 2.5% (after +2.7% in the previous quarter). Over the whole year 20143, GDP rose by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU28. Read the Eurostat press release


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